Friday, September 23, 2011

The AGony



Chris ( said...

Beware that which AGlitters, we can all AGree...

Anonymous said...
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"Cassandra" said...


I have no tears in regards to the speculative cascade. I was merely amusing myself with apt words of the day.

With regards to Taxes + Healthcare canard, I would not argue that America is undertaxed in aggregate. Particularly when one takes into account state and local levies. What I would argue is that most Americans get particularly poor value for their pound of flesh by comparison (excepting perhaps UK where value is also poor). Universal healthcare of good quality, widespread affordable public transport, efficient services (speaking from French point of view) cheap, good, albeit elite university, show what is possible. I would be cheesed-off were I stateside
tax-payer. But what one man can do, another can do, so the realm of the possible is important to witness and learn from.

Philosophically, I am certainly NOT wedded to high taxation. And I abhor stupid and wasteful expenditure as much as the next taxpayer - both in my home and in the state. The reality of a society with needs & demands, tethered to reality by budgetary constraints necessarily means consideration of all options: as Rogoff suggests, this is true of spending cuts as it is true of tax rises, as well as reorientation of existing expenditure from low-multiplier to higher multiplier endeavors, and from certain consumptive allocations to more investment-oriented pursuits, as it is true of mild inflation. None of this is contentious to pragmatists, and those seeking more optimal longer-frame sustainable solutions. Why this pragmatism should be contentious to the ideological extremes requires objective logic not yet furnished - certainly not sympathetic to the body of evidence in the fields of macroconomic and public finance.